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Drobo Dashboard can show used/available space

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

Drobo was a bit of a life-saver for me. Before Drobo I had about 13 different hard drives storing different kinds of data (music on one, video on another, pictures on another, etc). My Drobo let me bring those all together in a very cool way.

I just stumbled across a new-to-me feature of the Drobo Dashboard (the Mac application used to control your Drobo) which allows me to do two things I enjoy:

1. Free up space on my menu bar
2. Utilize space on my Dock better

While I was looking for something else, I clicked on the Drobo Dashboard menu, and saw the options shown in the picture. Actually when I saw it the line which reads "Show Menu Bar Icon" said "Hide Menu Bar Icon."

So I clicked on it, because I love getting things off my menu bar, and I rarely looked at the Drobo menu bar icon. What I did not realize was that when you hide the menu bar icon, the Dock icon for Drobo changes from a static Drobo logo a pie chart you see in the image here (4th from the bottom, in case that isn't clear).

As you can see, I have about 22% of my Drobo available. (I assume at that color will turn yellow when I get below 15% available space, or red if I get below 5% free space, as those are the colors and thresholds that I believe Drobo uses for "low" and "critical" levels, respectively.)

I haven't used the Drobo Dashboard for awhile so I am not sure how "new" this feature is, but it is a welcome option. The Dock icon is much easier to read than the menu bar version, and it frees up valuable real estate in the menu bar. I could not find a way to turn off both the menu bar and the dock display -- you have to choose one or the other.

Also, if you have not looked at "DroboCopy" it's worth checking out as well. It is a simple backup system to dupe a folder from your hard drive to the Drobo. It is fairly rudimentary, but rudimentary backups are better than none. Personally I use Apple's own to automatically backup my iCal and Address Book information to my Drobo every day, in case it gets corrupted using MobileMe syncing. You can use Apple's Backup app even if you don't use Mobile Me.

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